Exploring the five villages – part two
The second part of this guide is coming much later than planned, well is true what people said that a baby change your life.
In the next few paragraphs I share our experience in the villages and can’t wait to plan my next visit to Cinque Terre, this time with the little one 👶🏻.
Did you know that Riomaggiore’s pier – Marina Piccola is one of the most photographed pier in the Cinque Terre? Not so sure? Have a look at all these amazing Instagram photos, or pictures that “travel” around the world showing the most beautiful places , or just being suggested as a wallpaper from your smart TVs.
Riomaggiore is this small village with a lot of colourful houses that offers us a small and rocky beach that is located south from the port, but it will compensate its sizes with the breathtaking beauty. Following the path it leads us to the Torre Guardiola botanical garden.
We also took a stroll to the gothic-style Church of San Giovanni Battista that brings back to 1340 and the castle dating back to 1260, which are the main landmarks of the village.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, and the most beautiful one by my opinion (and not only). Walking down the Main Street, full of shops and cafes, we were looking at Manarola’s timeless vista: pastel houses perched on a cliff, fishing boats in a small harbor, tanned teenagers diving off the breakwater into the blue sea (which I was really afraid about) and beach lovers enjoying the sun.
If looking for the best picture spot there is a restaurant on the cliff with the pier and the colourful houses as a background. Unfortunately as you guess it is not easy to take a table there, especially during the busy period, but don’t give up and give it try. Instead of waiting for table we found a spot in the gardenlike seating area and order a limoncino spritz, enjoying the taste and the view.
A small village of just 240 residents, is the only Cinque Terre village without direct access to the sea.
Once we arrived at the station our breath was taken from the view – the blue, clear sea from one side and the hill, where the village is located, with the many wine terraces on the other side. And here is where the adventure begins – 382 steps in front of us that can lead up in the hill.
The church dedicated to the patron saint of the village – Chiesa di San Pietro is laying on the top. The opening view, while stroll all the stairs, of the church and the wine terraces was the perfect reason to stop for a deep breath and of course capture the moment with picture.
Finally arrived at Corniglia we started exploring the small streets where unexpectedly the gulf is showing in between the houses. Continue walking down the road there are small tunnel streets with bars, handcrafted shops and gelaterias – so have a stop and enjoy all you can.
And the last can’t be missed – taste of the best gelato in Cinque Terre (and maybe not only in Cinque Terre). Homemade recipes, milky, fruity and refreshing tastes will makes us enjoy even more this little village. A must try is the basil flavoured ice cream that is typical for Corniglia and definitely can’t taste everyday, and if this is not your favourite flavour there are plenty more that you cannot even imagine.
Vernazza turns out to be the most romantic village of the Cinque Terre. The moment we arrived there I was really in love with all the elegant pastel painted houses, that the village is so famous for.
Lined with cafeterias, craft shops and wine bars, where we spend well quite lot of time enjoying our lunch, Vernazza’s main street links the seaside piazzetta (Piazza Marconi) with the railway station. The small side streets (carruggi) leads to the village’s trademark where sea views pop at every corner and are perfect for a picture spot.
And of course February is not warm enough for beach time but next summer the location is already in our plans – there are two beaches in Vernazza – the first and easiest to get to is near the harbor, with a small sandy beach and another which can be reached from the main square of the city.
Monterosso al Mare was the last village of our stop and is located at the center of a small natural gulf, protected by a small artificial reef. This is the only one of the Cinque Terre villages that is l accessible by car, but we still used our train card (see more here). In the summer days the beaches become crowded really quickly with beach lovers and swimmers. Monterosso is known for its lemon trees, olive groves and the anchovies. The village has two parts – old town with the ancient fortress and the modern one, connected by tunnel. After a long day exploring the Cinque Terre, in our case two days, we have a stop to relax at Monterosso beach with a glass of wine and taste the famous anchovies.
Hope you enjoy my travel guide. Stay tuned for more travel tips and follow me on Instagram in the link below.
xX Rosie 💐